Friday, April 8, 2011

Random Hallmark moments: The Chief

   I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend a talk with Kansas City Chiefs coach Todd Haley yesterday; he came to Hallmark to share stories from his career and talk about leadership. What a treat! He offered some great principles and reminders. Namely, that you should expect a lot from people and push hard. And how important it is for the people you lead to know how much you care about them.
   It made me reflect on how fortunate I am to work for such a caring company full of truly unique and talented people. Caring for those around me is easy: everyone is so fun and interesting, with great senses of humor, cool families, interesting hobbies and great stories.
   This week was one of the most challenging I can remember in quite a while. (And not just because I had 2 flat tires, Taylor hurt his paw, and Gypsy peed all over me and made me late to work.) We were in jeopardy of losing the opportunity to have our product placed for Christmas with a major retailer. And in part due to mistakes I had made. I had to consciously move past my fears about potential consequences for myself and figure out how to rally the whole team to overcome the situation. And as I'm sitting here at work tonight with my core team, adding support where I can and making sure the work gets done, I'm reflecting on the experience.
   I am very proud of the work at the end of the week. I'm even more proud of how everyone banded together and pitched in, and had fun together despite working so hard. We won't know for a few days what the retailer's response will be, but in one sense, we've already won.
   Today was actually a very fun day (despite being at work for 14+ hours). I asked the other managers to help me bring breakfast treats for the whole crowd, and then I ran out to Costco at lunchtime to renew my membership and pick up pizzas. Little did I know what a great idea THAT was... I didn't expect to be at work until 10 pm, and the leftover pizza made a pretty good dinner.
Joan, Sara, Jerry & I head to the parking garage; the last ones in the building, other than the cleaning staff!
   Although we devoured almost all of the food, there were some choice items left. Olivia just MMS'd these photos of her adorable boys enjoying the last of the cream cheese/wild blueberry danish. Looks like it was a good end to the day for everyone!